Mariko Mori’s “Dream Temple”. Essay by Miuccia Prada. Published by Fondazione Prada.

This is the most exquisite and elegantly designed catalogue of Mariko Mori I have ever seen. The pure white square book box and book cover almost cautions me to put on white gloves. There is no printed word at the beginning but the pages start with silvery pale photos of sacred ancient sites from various places, e.g., standing stones in the Orkney Islands and Isle of Lewis as if they were the prologue of images of her works that follow. The photos of her typical works are small and placed with careful consideration to be harmonized with many of these sacred sites and Buddha statues of divine aesthetic from ancient times. The catalogue is unified into a single shimmering beauty of prayer.

Mariko Mori has been a pop star of media art since the 1990s. When she just came out, the large photo of herself was eye catching: she had transformed the world just by herself costumed and standing in the actual setting of typical urban street scenes. What made her work special was not her costume or sweet and futuristic images of herself, but her artistic ability to conquer the world. She had transformed whatever world she chose into a distinct “Mariko’s world”. The strength of her work is her ideas and clever use of technology that help her imagination materialize. Her works have a strange mixture of sweetness and bold absurdity. In contrast to that, this book is humble and a submission to something larger. Is it her tribute and prayer to her late father? Or may be, she is growing out of her youth, and is in transition to search for future artistic expressions. Though this book is perfectly designed for that purpose, I miss her wild spirit and ability to stir up the world, something I first felt standing in front of her work in Japan.

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